Tuesday, November 19, 2013
The International Space Station and Venus, 19-28 November 2013
|The ISS passes almost on top of Venus as seen from Adelaide on the evening of Friday November 22 at 22:22 ACDST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), click to embiggen.||The ISS passes almost on top of Venus as seen from Sydney on the evening of Sunday November 24 at 21:18 AEDST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), click to embiggen.|
|All sky chart showing times from Heavens Above for Friday November 22 for Adelaide.||All sky chart showing times from Heavens Above for Sunday November 24 for Sydney.|
During this week there are a series of bright evening passes of the International Space Station. For many places in Australia the ISS comes close to Venus. In some places the ISS almost appears to go over the top of Venus, for example 22 November at 22:22 ACDST in Adelaide and 24 November 21:18 AEDST in Sydney.
When and what you will see is VERY location dependent, so you need to use either Heavens Above or CalSky to get site specific predictions for your location. Even the difference between the city centre and the suburbs can mean the difference between seeing the ISS go over Venus or just below it.
Start looking several minutes before the pass is going to start to get yourself oriented and your eyes dark adapted. Be patient, on the night there may be slight differences in the time of the ISS appearing due to orbit changes not picked up by the predictions. The ISS will be moving reasonably fast when it passes Venus, so be alert.
If you are trying to take pictures, make sure you have a tripod and have the camera in night mode (or a mode were you can take exposures of around 5 minutes), if you can set the camera to take multiple exposures unattended that would be best.
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